100,000 truck drivers needed to alleviate crisis caused by Brexit, low wages and long hours for UK haulers.
It would be comical if it weren’t so serious. Gasoline shortages in Britain prompted drivers to stock up on fuel over the weekend, exacerbating an already low supply that was caused by a lack of truck drivers to haul gasoline from refineries and storage tanks to service stations around the country.
The government said the country had plenty of gas, although it was not in a place that Britons could buy it. “The only reason we don’t have petrol on the forecourts is that people are buying petrol they don’t need,” said Environment Secretary George Eustice.
A gas station trade association said the British Army was training its truckers to drive fuel tankers, even as the government said it had no plans to deploy the military.
Analysts say the problem is rooted in Brexit, Britain’s abrupt exit from the European Union last year, which has made it expensive and time consuming for truckers from mainland Europe to work in or drive through the UK. The government says the country needs 100,000 truckers, but low wages and long hours have made the job unappealing to many potential workers.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that everyone from doctors to plumbers are fuming and asking for priority at the pump as soon as fuel is available.
The trucking crisis and other aftershocks of Brexit have caused havoc in Britain’s economy. The price of natural gas has skyrocketed, forcing several utilities into bankruptcy, and threatening the country’s ability to stay warm this winter, a carbon dioxide shortage has halted production at soda bottlers and slaughterhouses, and the trucker shortage and massive customs delays at Britian’s re-established border with the continental Europe have left supermarket shelves devoid of food from the mainland.
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